“The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.”

Masanobu Fukuoka, The One-Straw Revolution

Hello February!

For those of you living in the northern-most states,
you have my sympathy.
This cold is brutal.
At minus 8 degrees (F), it's quite frosty...
and I can hardly imagine what you are going through with temperatures so much colder!


It seems like I mention our weather almost daily.
There was a day when I might have rolled my eyes over people talking so much about weather.
That was before I moved to the country.
Weather is such an integral part of life when you live like we do.


Noticing the conditions around me has become part of the magic
of this life.
I pay close attention to the sun, the moon, the stars, the weather...
as it all affects our life here.


I have also come to believe that our farm is located in a tiny
microclimate that is always several degrees lower than the surrounding areas.


This explains why we always have snow that stays longer 
than any other place around here.
Seriously, we have our own little frozen tundra right here on the farm.

All I can say is... it's a good thing that I made up my mind to love Winter.
Yes, it's true... it was a conscious decision to love winter.
When so many months are spent living with these conditions,
it's much easier to decide to love it, than to fight it.
I...

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Another Polar Vortex?

If it's warm where you are,
enjoy it!


The rest of us are experiencing a polar vortex with record breaking cold.
We awoke yesterday with temperatures at minus 4F.


By afternoon, it had risen to 4 F.
The farm animals are weathering the cold just fine...
with oodles of hay to keep them busy.


The rest of us are staying indoors as much as possible.
With the occasional trip outside for treats!!

 
  
Ginger and MaryAnn still come running whenever they hear the gator,
but as soon as they've had their treats,
they run for their door...
and back into their stall under the warmth of their heat lamp they go.

There's never a shortage of things to do indoors.
I suppose that is what I love so much about winter.


Besides the break from summer's heat, winter gives me the opportunity
to do all of the things I love to do but don't have enough time for
the rest of the year.

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A Winter Afternoon

Yesterday brought a lovely surprise.


More snow!


I ran a few errands - post office, bank, grocery, feed store - in the morning,
and got home in time to enjoy an afternoon of this.


Going out to do afternoon chores was a treat...


everything was just beautiful!


I grabbed a little video for you as I worked...


Temperatures are supposed to plummet again over the next couple of days...


so, I believe we will get to enjoy this winter wonderland until at least next week,
when it is predicted to warm up again.


We've had such erratic winter weather.
One never knows what the next week will bring!

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The Quiet of Mornings

One of the things that I enjoy most about morning chores,


aside from the spectacular sunrises,
is the sound of birdsong.


In the spring and summer, I work to a symphony of chirps and tweets.

However, in the winter, when everyone has flown to warmer climes,
it's a bit quiet around here.
Gone are the songs of the robins, the bluebirds, the swallows, red-winged blackbirds,
towhees,  larks,  wrens,
and so many others.


Aside from an occasional tweet, the caw of a crow, or the cry of a hawk in the skeletal tree tops,
the birdsongs these days are minimal.


Most of the bird activity is centered around our bird feeders.
We keep them stocked year-round.
Daily feeders include cardinals, bluejays, dark eyed juncos,
house finches, purple finches,
goldfinches in their drab, olive-green winter garb,
nuthatches, sparrows, and woodpeckers.


During other seasons, we are treated to a wide array of bird species,
either here for the warm weather, or passing through as they migrate
north to south, or south to north.

This week has us locked in the icy grip of winter...
next week might be different.
You never know around here.


Regardless, our ground remains frozen and white.


The horses spend their days in the pasture, hay...

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9 - 2019-02-13 23:43:07 -

It’s 26 degrees and snowing outside.
I am sitting here finishing the sleeves of a sweater.
The fireplace is roaring.
Chester is asleep beside me.
Annie and Sam ran off into the darkness early this morning and have not returned.
Needless to say, worry has replaced the peace in my soul.
My computer is in the hands of Apple’s engineering department...
Some sort of software malfunction, they think.
I am keeping my fingers crossed that they will be able to fix the problem... 
blogging by phone is less than perfect...
Though not impossible.


I’ve uploaded videos that would have been today’s post
Into my Instagram story. 

Now it’s time to go back out and check on the animals.
I hope wherever you are is warm and cozy!
Keeping my fingers crossed that my AWOL dogs are soon home.

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Snow and Woe

I have much to share with you.... but I am unable to do a blog post.
My computer has crashed.
Woe is me.
I am writing on my iPad, but it only allows me a few lines.
I will return as soon as possible, but I fear it make take days...
We are having a snow and ice storm and the nearest Apple store
(For service)
Is quite a distance away.
I’ll be back just as soon as I can.

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A Wedding Weekend

Hello! 
And... happy Monday.
I am writing this post on Sunday evening,
after driving 8 hours home from Charlotte.
Hubbs left Charlotte with his parents for a trip to Florida to visit his Dad's brother.
I drove home alone.
With the exception of leaving North Carolina and getting onto 
Interstate 81 heading south.... it was an uneventful trip.
Luckily, I had only driven 10 miles in the wrong direction before discovering what I had done.
Otherwise, I might have beaten Jack to Florida!

Our weekend was dedicated to Ryan's wedding,
and so is this blog.
You might remember that Ryan is Jack's son and Amanda's twin.

The Ring Bearers...


Flower Girl...



The lovely bride, Bekah...
we welcome her with open arms into our family!!






It was a big wedding party... Bekah has a large family
and they both have a lot of friends.
All of the children in the wedding party are her nieces and nephews.
Amanda is next to the end on the left.


It was quite the celebration...
the perfect beginning to the adventure of a lifetime!

We had a wonderful weekend spent with family, kids, and extended family and friends!
It was Tyler's very first wedding and he danced the night away.

I am glad to be home and back to my loves.
Many, many thanks...

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Just Ducky

Now that the ground is visible once again,
the runner ducks are out and about for the daytime.
Which means that now, every afternoon, 
I have to scour the neighborhood looking for them.


Some days they come back to their yard and some days they disappear.
Luckily their range is not too big.

I check the duck pen... no ducks there, only guineas.


So, the dogs and I head out... me on the gator, them on foot.
We search the pastures, around the arena and the barn area
to no avail.
It's time to expand our search.


We check the neighbors yards.
No ducks.
Suddenly, I see something moving in the cornfield across the street.


Sure enough, there they are.


Now, to herd them home.


Back to their own yard.


Back to the safety of their house for the night.


Something tells me I have much duck herding in my future!


The solar power was turned on yesterday.
Yay!!
We are now making our own electricity... with the power of the sun.
All we need are some sunny days.
Here is what our roof looks like with the solar panels.
The bulk of them are on the roof on the back of the house and garage.


Thanks to Bright Eye Solar for getting us up and running with clean, renewable energy!

We are leaving the farm in the hands of friends for the...

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A Bouquet For You

If you are anything like me...
by this time of year (in the northern states) you start to crave
sunshine and color.


The world is rather monochromatic... sometimes it seems like we live in
an Ansel Adams photograph.... beautiful and austere, but definitely lacking
in color.


Today I am giving us all a dose of color - just to tide us over.


A little color from last summer, as a reminder of what is to come.


I picked this bouquet just for you!!


Won't the taste of fresh produce be a wonderful thing?

If you live in an area where fresh produce is always available... enjoy!!
It will be a few months before my garden offers its first bounty.


Sugar peas and asparagus, lettuce and spinach will be its first offerings.
Oh, how I long for the taste of freshly picked green.

To me, color is energy.
To consume those colors gives my body and soul that energy.


To feast my eyes on a rainbow of colors rejuvenates my soul.


So, although the world around is clothed in grey and browns,
the promise of color is out there...
just beyond our fingertips...
but it's out there, nonetheless!

I received a letter from Minerva.
(She's working for a family in Australia for the season.)
She reports that it's been the hottest summer on...

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Dearest Daphne

Just before the sun set yesterday, I spent a little time with the donkey girls.
They had been out foraging in the front pasture for the day,
and they were tired.


Jack and I had been out cleaning the front pasture and were tired as well.
Seeing Daphne resting in the shed made me want to sit and commune with her
for a little bit.


I love the fact that she is comfortable with me even while she is lying down.


This is the time that an equine is most vulnerable,
so to have them lie there while you move around them requires
a great deal of trust.


Oh, how I love these girls...


It is almost certain that these two girls will live longer than I will.
Their lifespan is 40 to 50 years. (They are only 7.)
Mine is not.... of course, you never know.
My kids know that my last wish is that my donkeys are well cared for
when I am gone!

The solar panels are coming along...
it's been a slow process due to crazy weather.
Perhaps by the end of this week we will be up and running.


And just a note... 
I love the bar shampoo that I had showed you a couple of weeks ago.
I have even stopped needing to use conditioner with it.
Just another step in reducing our consumption, our plastic usage,
and ultimately our carbon footprint.

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Sunshine On Our Shoulders

We all enjoyed a little bit of heaven yesterday
(and I believe more of the same, today!)


There is nothing like a good dose of warm sunshine to 
rejuvenate one's body,


and lift one's spirit.


It was so warm that I had to remove my (lightweight) jacket during 
afternoon chores.


With the warmth comes "meltage", however...
leaving us with slush and mud once again.


I am just going to overlook what lies beneath my feet and keep my 
sights set to the sun and the blue sky, instead.


Everyone had a great day.
The birds were all finally able to emerge and run about a bit.


It had seemed like forever since the guineas and ducks were able to roam the farm.
The ducks ran excitedly to and fro...
from one grassy patch, through the snow to the next melted area.
I doubt there is much nutrition for them out there, but
they sure got their exercise!


The last stop after chores were finished was with the pigs and sheep.
Snack time, of course.

Very often this is how snack time goes with the sheep:

I offer a Ritz.


Faith is the first to walk over to me.


She sniffs it.


And eats it.


Meanwhile, Hope thinks about it.

Walks over.

Sniffs it... and sniffs it, and sniffs it...


and Faith eats it, instead.


She who hesitates, loses the Ritz -...

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What A Difference A Day Makes

Greetings from the land of fickle weather!!
I can scarcely believe that it is February already.
It seems like yesterday that we were in the thick of the Christmas season,
and now we are rounding the corner and heading towards Spring...
at least that is what the groundhog has said.


We started our weekend with a snowy Friday... and it snowed all day!
Frigid temperatures hung around until yesterday when it warmed up
to almost 40 degrees.
I had almost forgotten what the warmth of the sun felt like!


Let me tell you... it was heavenly.
It's amazing how a spike in temperature can make one feel 10 pounds lighter...
probably because I have had to wear an extra ten pounds of 
heavy, warm clothing for the past week.


Everyone enjoyed being outside yesterday.

We had a delightful weekend with houseguests.
Good food, laughter and great games filled the hours
between suppertime Friday and lunchtime on Sunday.
The time whizzed by in the blink of an eye...
evidence of time well spent!


Our guests were Lola and Roxy and their human family.
You might remember, if you've been around for a while,
that we visit Lola and Roxy and their family at the Chesapeake Bay each summer.
And every winter, we happily entertain them...

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Skating On Thick Ice

Erratic weather has slowed down the installation of our solar panels.
You might remember that I had mentioned on Thursday that we were having 
warmer temperatures and rain.
Thursday night the temperatures plummeted and the farm
turned into a sheet of ice.


When the solar company returned to work that morning,
this happened.


Four hours later, the wrecking company finally had them freed from the ditch.


Needless to say, no work was done on Friday.
Today will be a big work day and our power will be off all day.
Hubbs and I are heading to town for lunch and a movie while the power is off.

The rest of our weekend was wonderfully peaceful.
We were treated to spectacular sunrises and sunsets.


What a wonderful backdrop to morning chores!


Along the way, I couldn't help but notice that O'Malley had a case of the 
creeping dingleberries.


She was obviously in need of a little assistance.


Much better, said I.
She agreed with a smile (and a little giggle, too!)


We pulled a name, randomly, from a hat for the extra magazine copy.
Quilting is Blissful, Di....please email me your address!!

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Kitten Play

Yesterday was a day for slogging through the ice and snow and slush.
It had rained through the night and continued on through the day.


It's best that my camera stays indoors on days such as that.
We don't want another camera-tastrophie in the same year.
This means cell phone photos are what we are left with.


Most everyone (except the horses, of course)
remained in their shelters during the rain... anti-climactic stuff for a blog post.
Luckily, the kitties were obliging and were up to their usual antics.
They've grown so much... I bet they are three times the size they were when they came
to the farm.


They now have their entire large stall to run and play 24/7.
Their crate is available with soft bed and heat lamp whenever they choose to go in.
Now that they are bigger, nap times are less frequent
and playtime is anytime!


I often hear them mewing from across the stall aisle, as I clean
the manure from the stalls that are open for horses to wander in and out.
The kitties have all found their voices and are sometimes quite talkative
(but only to each other.)


They've discovered that the garden cart which is parked in their stall
is a great place to play hide and seek,
and all manner of kitty games.


(the...

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Good Morning

Mornings are so quiet and peaceful these days.
The snow on the ground muffles the sounds of the surrounding hills
as the sun casts its rays upon the frozen land.


This is the austere beauty of winter.
But, as always, change is coming.
Raising temperatures and heavy rains have the potential for transforming
this winter wonderland to something quite different.


As you form a mental picture of how pastoral the scene here is...
you might (or might not) want to add the sight of
one grown adult pick-axing frozen manure out of the icy snow,
while the other is on her hands and knees picking up the 
dislodged turds.
Reality check.

With regards to the magazine article that I shared with you yesterday...
sadly, "Country" Magazine is not sold on news stands,
but rather is by subscription only.
Extra, unsold, copies are available (later) on 
tasteofhome.com
This particular issue was the Feb/March 2019 issue.
I have a subscription, and my own copy has not yet arrived.


But.... if you are interested, I do have one extra copy that I can send out.
Leave me a comment and I will put your name in a hat for a free copy.

Finally, after a month of pretty solid knitting (mostly evenings)
I have completed my first adult-sized...

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Little Surprises

I had every intention of visiting with you yesterday...
and then I found myself overcome by events.
Namely, two toddlers.


I love keeping our "littles" when their parents are away.
We have such fun together...
but it is all-encompassing and all-consuming.
At the end of the day, Monday evening, I just did not have the energy to sit 
down and write.
Knowing that I had another day ahead of me to entertain these two,
I headed to bed and got the rest necessary 
for keeping up with two creatures of perpetual motion.


While I stayed indoors and played and worked on potty training (going great!),
Hubbs took responsibility of the farm animals.


Much to Easton's chagrin, it was much too cold for the little ones
to be outside on the farm.
So... our days were spent indoors...
doing little chores around the house...
yes, even a 1 ½ year old can help with things like setting the table and 
putting things away.
We painted and practiced cutting with safety scissors (not Easton),
played with play dough, played farm, 
did puzzles, 
snacked, 
napped,
repeat, repeat, repeat...
and magically the days passed in the blink of an eye.
But, no blog.


So, I am back this morning.
The temperatures are up just a hair. 
They had reached...

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Dreams Of An Old Dog

If you've stopped by here in the past,
then most likely you are well-acquainted with our Brown Sammie.


He holds the rank of oldest (and wisest?...not sure about that one) of our farm dogs.


He's a love, for sure -
but like a cat, only when he is in the mood.


Otherwise, he spends most of his time resting up for potential adventure.


One thing we know for sure...
Sammie is a dreamer!

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Freshly Fallen Snow

A layer of snow quietly crept in and covered the farm
as we slept Saturday night.
On Sunday morning we awoke to this.


An inch of snow is just enough to turn the farm
into the most lovely winter wonderland...


but not enough to interfere with life.


I would love if we could have our snows in one-inch increments!


It's been quite cold lately, so I doubt that this snow will be in any hurry to melt.


I am told we can expect much more snow by next weekend...
and most likely not in one-inch increments.


It looks like the snow to come will require a bit of shoveling.


We'll enjoy this little appetizer for the four-course meal that is to come!


After morning chores were complete,
I set the table and began to prepare Sunday Farm Breakfast.
Farm Breakfast is a Sunday morning tradition that we have held for many years.
Most weekends, Dr. Becky and her family join us,
but, on occasion, we have many more at our table.

Yesterday I tried this recipe...


from this book...


They were the most scrumptious pancakes I have ever made!
Along with local bacon and homegrown eggs, 
homemade blueberry syrup with last year's frozen blueberries,
and fruit,
it was a perfect breakfast.

Breakfast was followed by a couple rounds of these two...

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The Reality of Winter

It was a weekend of fickle weather.
Friday morning, we awoke to fresh snow on the ground.


With a winter storm forecasted for the rest of the weekend,
we decided to run our errands Friday morning.
We took our recycling to our local recycling center,
passing this lovely pond on the way...


Then we stopped by our local grocery/hardware store for a few necessities
and saw this (a common sight around here)...


The feed store was last on our list.

The only thing left to do, was to get the guineas into the duck yard for the
coming snow.  Roosting indoors is so much better in a snowstorm!


Not an easy task...but we were not about to give up.


Victory!

Saturday we took the dogs on a long hike through the woods.


Even with most of the hemlock trees removed,
the woods still felt peaceful.


(I had mentioned in an earlier post that our woods, densely populated with
hemlock trees, had suffered in the past few years due to an infestation
of the Wooly Adelgid - a migrant insect from China that has decimated the
hemlock forests on the east coast by sucking the sap out of the trees and causing their trunks to splinter... sending the massive trees to the ground.
  After much research and the advice from several forestry...

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The Sweetest Moment

Her eyes were deep, brown pools of mystery.
Her lips, soft, sweet and furry...

A love poem, you thought, until you read that word.
Furry.
Furry lips?

Those brown eyes of mystery...
(with their perfect eyeliner)


Those lips would be these...


and they are lips that I never hesitate to kiss.


These two sweet donkey sisters...
I can scarcely find enough adjectives to describe how absolutely sweet they are.


You seriously must get to know them in person.
If so, then you would agree with me.
There's not a sweeter soul in all the world than these two 
big-eared, big-hearted mini-donks.


I've had people exclaim that truly they had no idea how small these two are.
It's hard to ascertain their actual size from photographs.
Their backs are no taller than my hip.

We are kindred spirits, these two and I.
I only need walking out of the barn and calling "donkey girls",
and they come trotting to wherever I am.
They are never an ounce of trouble for me.

Yesterday, when they were done grazing the morning away in the front pasture,
(while the horses spent the day in the upper pasture)
the donkeys came in and took a nap in their shed.

I had just finished afternoon chores and decided to join them.


I sat down in front of Daphne,...

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Grey Days

We are entering that monochromatic time of year.
The landscape is softly painted in shades of grey and browns.
It takes a bit of searching to find a patch of green.
And the reds, pinks, yellows, and purples of summer and autumn are gone.


I've come to love the austere beauty of winter...
if for no reason other than its contrast to the colors of the other seasons.
Realizing the brevity of the seasons helps us to hold them dear
while they are with us.


Dressed warmly, I try to spend a bit of time outdoors each day...
observing the subtle canvas that is winter...
all the while remembering that the brilliant colors lay sleeping
just beneath the surface.


It's been a good winter for grazing.
Our pastures continued to grow well into autumn this year
with the summer's abundant rainfall.


And although the barn is full of hay,
we've been able to avoid using that hay too quickly.


All of that is soon to change, I hear.
Weather forecasters have predicted a split in the polar vortex,
which may cause our area to experience a long period of extreme cold...
beginning, perhaps, as early as the coming weekend - 
and possibly extending through March.


With that cold will come quite a bit of snow, they are saying.


If that...

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Quacking-Up

The runner ducks have spent the past two days in their own yard.


As you can see, we still have most of the snow that fell this weekend.


I have noticed, when watching the ducks, that they don't seem to like the snow
on their little webbie toes, and are constantly either standing on one leg,
or lying down and pulling their legs up into their down.


Rather than turn them loose on a world that is snow-covered,
I have decided to keep them in their yard,
where much of the ground is melted
This also gives them the option of going into their house,
where soft, dry bedding is available.


It seems, however, that at least one of them is not happy
with the present arrangement.


The littlest, a female, is constantly quacking her opinions...
and rather loudly!  


Apparently, she has a lot to say.


Really?


You don't say!

Only the females of the runner ducks "quack", the males make a softer sound.
It looks like this little girl is the designated spokes-duck for all five of them!

As for the rest of our ducks...
they all seem to weather the winter just fine...
spending their days in the water.


We keep a couple aerators bubbling at all times,
to keep the pond from freezing completely.
There is always, at the very least, a...

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Happy New Year!

From your good friends (and good sports)...


May this year bring good health and happiness to all!

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One Last Day

It's the last day of the year...
the last day before we start another trip around the sun.
I find myself feeling a little nostalgic for the year that has just passed...
a year full of precious memories...


365 days full of extraordinary life and ordinary miracles.


We've laughed, we've cried, we've loved and lost.


We've seen things we never imagined we'd ever see.


We tried our best to live each day to the fullest...
taking nothing for granted.


And now, we look forward to the year that lies in front of us...
each sunrise, each sunset, and each moment between.


In truth, we greet each day blindfolded...
with no knowledge of what lies ahead.
We blindly place one foot in front of the other and walk into the future,
never knowing our destination.


It is our task to enjoy the journey...
savoring each moment as it unfolds... as if it were our last.


And so, today, we hold close the memories of the passing year,


and look forward to the adventure of the coming year.
We dream, we scheme, we plan...
never knowing where the road will take us.


No matter what... life is a grand adventure...
precious moments strung together like pearls.

I love the New Year's holiday.
To me it signifies a fresh start.


The Christmas holiday...

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Seasonably Cold, Finally!

Mostly blue skies and sun prevailed yesterday.


If only the solar panels were up on the roof doing their thing!
But, alas, fierce winds have ushered in much colder weather,
and no solar work was done yesterday.


We took a walk through the woods yesterday to check the progress
of the tree cutting.


It makes my heart sad to see so many of our beautiful trees gone,
but I understand the necessity.
Getting rid of the diseased trees gives the newer hardwood saplings a fighting
chance of growing into large trees... and sooner.


But still... the woods were my peaceful place, and they feel so very disrupted right now.
But...
time heals.
And given a few years, the woods will look vibrant once more.


We did see some white tail deer on our journey.
Of that I am glad; as I was fearful that the tree cutting would cause them to leave.
The woods are large, so there is plenty of room for the deer to hide.

Our animals don't seem to mind the cold.


Those that do stay inside.


The house is toasty warm with a roaring fire going,


so I have been working on some wooly projects.
This Icelandic sweater is coming along nicely.


I work on it a little each day.
As soon as the sleeves are finished, I will join them to the body and...

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We Love A Sunny Day!

This past year has taught us that a sunny day is not something to be 
taken for granted.


We've had our share of clouds of late.


So, when a sunny day comes along, it gives us cause to rejoice.
Don't be fooled by Sam's stoic face...
he's really happy to see the sun, too.
It's just that this is about as excited as Sammie gets.


There's nothing like the feel of warm sun on your back as the cold winter winds blow!


It's something to crow about.


We enjoyed every bit of yesterday's sun as it peeked in and out of the fast-moving clouds.


And as our solar panels get installed...


we are hoping for more sunny days ahead.


This is the last year for the present (30%) tax credit for the installation of solar power...
so we have gone ahead with the plan.
Any excess electricity that we produce will be credited towards our account...
so that on days when the sun doesn't shine... we work off of our credit.
You can see why we are hoping for more sunny days ahead.

Either way, it still feels like the right thing to do.

While we were in Africa, where the safari camps run on nothing but solar power,
we became accustomed to using these little solar lights in our tents at night.
They recharge in the sunlight during the day.

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Running With The Runners

Every day, mid- to late afternoon,
we do afternoon chores.
Typically it is a chore time that is shorter than the others.


We feed the goats their chow.


Who's that hiding behind the Christmas tree?


Why it's Sissy.

We see you, Sissy.

We have become a depository for our neighborhood's discarded trees.
They are a great treat for the goats.
And when the needles are gone and the branches dried out,
they make excellent back scratchers.


When the longer days of spring arrive and the goats begin to shed,
the trees help to remove clumps of winter fur.


Goats are fed, then chicken eggs are gathered.
For some reason, at the time of year when most chicken owners typically 
see a slow down in production, ours tends to increase.


I suppose it is because the new layers that were raised in the summer
begin to lay their first eggs.
We have a glut of eggs right now.
If you need some... let me know (locally).


One of the most challenging afternoon jobs is finding the runner ducks and
herding them home.
We like to get them safely tucked in their yard before the sun begins to sink.
If we wait until tuck-in time, we may not be able to find them...
and for some reason, they have not yet developed the good sense to return
home...

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Kitty Cam

I have been a little nervous to let our kittens have free-run of their stall.
At first, I knew they were small enough to fit under the stall door.
I made a long wood block for that area,
and the kittens doubled in size.


Yesterday it seemed time to take a leap of faith and give them
their freedom (in a rather secure stall).

I am so glad we did, as this is what happened....

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Much to Share...

I have so much to share with you...
I'm feeling a little chatty today.
Perhaps we should put a pot of tea on,
and get out the crumpets!

Big news... we are making big strides with the kittens.
Finally.


After what has seemed like months (2, actually),
I am seeing a big difference in our three little kitties' demeanors.
Perhaps it was the threat of naming them Hissy, Pissy, and Sissy.
Perhaps it was just the passage of time.
Yesterday, when I handled them in the morning, they all purred while being held.


They've had a lot of contact with the dogs, through the sides of their pen.
Yesterday I introduced each of them to Sam.
(sorry for the quality of the photos... it was darkish in the barn,
and I took them with my phone... kitty selfies... but you get the idea)


Sam is our kitten yogi.


He loves kittens.
So... we are finally making real strides with these three,
and I couldn't be more thrilled!


Our weekend was a mix of rain and partly sunny skies.


The rain happened on Saturday... and sadly the rain followed me
on an adventure with Tyler and his Mommy to New York City.


We drove part way and took a train the rest of the way into the city
to see Aladdin on Broadway.
This was our Christmas present to Tyler and...

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Let's Talk About Clothes

One of the things that I love about damp, grey winter days


is that they afford me time to spend in my sewing room.


This really is one of my happy places.


It's a room filled with potential projects...
where my imagination can run wild.


I mentioned a few days ago that I am giving a lot of thought
to the Slow Fashion Movement.

I love clothes just as much as anyone.
I like my clothes to reflect my personality, to be comfortable, and functional.

We don't always consider that when we buy seasonal, trendy clothing...
(fast fashion)
 that it has often been mass-produced overseas
by humans beings who are forced to work in unsafe conditions for slave wages.


There is also an ecological impact from the production of these clothes
(energy used, chemicals used, waste, etc.)


The Slow Fashion Movement emphasizes only buying well-made items
that will stand the test of time,
and decreasing our consumption through the principles 
of hand-made, mended, recycled, up-cycled, and second-hand garments.

It takes a change of perspective...
viewing our wardrobe as non-disposable but rather
worth mending as needed and keeping through the years.

Personally, I am in the process of sewing and knitting a few wardrobe basics.


I have...

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